On Thursday (December 26), the Boxing Day Tests have kicked off in both Australia and South Africa. The Aussies are playing against their neighbors New Zealand whereas the Proteas are locking horns with England.
Before looking into the summary of the opening day of the two matches, let’s understand what exactly Boxing Day is.
A day after every Christmas i.e., December 26 is celebrated in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth nations such as Australia, New Zealand, and Canada as Boxing Day.
To get the exact meaning, one has to go through the two versions of this day. As per one version, it refers to the alms boxes or poor boxes in churches that used to be opened on the day after Christmas.
Another version says that the name is derived from the boxes of gifts that were given to servants who worked on Christmas Day. They were given presents the next day.
Apart from the two versions mentioned above, December 26 is also the feast day of St Stephen, the patron saint of horses. For this reason, several sporting events are held on this day.
When it comes to cricket, the first Boxing Day Test took place between Australia and England in 1950 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Since that match, MCG hosts the Boxing Day Test every year from December 26 to 30.
India has played eight Boxing Day Matches so far in Australia in 1985, 1991, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2014, and 2018. India is supposed to tour Australia in the next year, and it will again play a Boxing Day match.
Apart from Australia, the Boxing Day Test matches take place in New Zealand and South Africa.
Let’s also talk about the two matches that started on December 26, 2019. Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test between Australia and New Zealand belongs to both sides.
New Zealand was able to strike wickets early, but Aussies were also successful to bounce back in the match. At stumps, the Tim Paine-led side has posted 257 runs on the board for the loss of four wickets.
In the other match, too, the situation looks even. Neither South Africa nor England would be disappointed with their performance of the day.
However, for the hosts, the opening day of the Boxing Day Test could have been worse had if Quinton de Kock not come forward to take the responsibility and played the sensible knock (95).
The effort of De Kock guided the Proteas to 277-9.